Country diary: Much has changed in this vast, natural amphitheatre – Rights History
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Country diary: Much has changed in this vast, natural amphitheatre

Burbage, Derbyshire: A film crew is at work and on cue a cuckoo calls, followed by a willow warbler, a stonechat and a ring ouzel

The Burbage Valley has been my working week and Sunday rest since the day almost 40 years ago, when a mate and I bunked off school to climb on the gritstone edges that fringe this vast, natural amphitheatre.

Much has changed since then, most of it for the better, but the geomantic drama of the place remains as it ever was. Today, as if to emphasise the valley’s qualities as performance space, a film crew is at work on its northern fringe. The director is issuing through a loudhailer instructions that drift along the crags to where I’m hunkered, buried deep in heather.

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